Loneliness in the era of social distancing has become a public health crisis in its own right. Our aging loved ones, who stand to gain the most from social distancing, are also among the communities most impacted by the isolation. This article will examine different types of technologies that are helping seniors combat loneliness.

Smart Phones & Social Media

Seniors are more tech-savvy than ever and Smartphones provide them with a great tool for avoiding social isolation.

  • Over the past several years, smartphone, tablet and social media use has increased among older adults aged 74 to 91, according to the Pew Research Center.
  • Social media sites like Facebook, Instagram and video messaging platforms like Skype can greatly benefit seniors to help them keep in touch with friends and family.
  • Platforms like these can help your loved ones forge authentic personal connections, whether the goal is catching up with old friends, or interacting more with close family.

Robotic Companions

Socially Assistive Robot (SAR) technology has the potential to improve health and social care for seniors.

  • With the advancement of robotics and artificial intelligence, social companion robots have become more and more common. These human or animal-shaped mechanics are able to have interactions with humans and their environment.
  • Examples include the ElliQ proactive social robot, which serves as a social entity that anticipates the user’s needs and responds with suggestions based on data. Samsung’s personal domestic Ballie robot, meanwhile, is designed to follow the user around the house and connect to various smart home or mobile devices.
  • Electronic pets are also becoming increasingly common. These programmed e-pets are designed to give a sense of companionship and comfort to seniors.

Online Content

The Internet can be a great resource to take advantage of when it comes to combating loneliness.

  • Of course, staying healthy is as important as ever nowadays. Some sites offer online personal training or fitness classes for seniors that can be done virtually. The experience isn’t quite the same as being in the same room as the instructor, but a live class can still help to keep seniors engaged.
  • There are also options to join online and virtual groups or classes that are organized around themes such as faith, fitness, movies, music, books, or cooking. This gives seniors an opportunity to exercise a hobby while providing interactions with like-minded individuals.

Technology Helps

Technology only stands to become more and more useful as a means for combating loneliness and social isolation. From social media apps to online classes and groups to robotic companionship, there are more tools available than ever to help provide seniors with meaningful interactions.

To learn more about how seniors can stay safe and cared for, visit Seasons Retirement Communities.